In the book of Acts, Luke is speaking about Christians as he continues to “set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us” to Theophilus. The chart below identifies the most frequently used words that refer to Christians. These are the words that the Holy Spirit chose to describe Christians to others.
The next chart shows the words used when speaking directly to Christians in the epsitles. These are the words we use among each other. There is a glaringly missing word in this chart: discipleship.
It is interesting to note that the word disciple is never used when speaking to each other in the epistles. Is this significant?
While we have each other as living examples, we are together disciples of Jesus Christ. So, maybe it is not so much “who are you discipling” as it is “who is your brother with whom you are laboring alongside?” The “discipling” language has a tone that in our western culture has a sense of an expert teaching an apprentice. But, we are all apprentices of Jesus Christ, together.
We are a family working together, not employees working for one another. All relationships among the saints are mutual; there is mutual edification, mutual encouragement and mutual exhortations. Every one of us are to submit to one another, to esteem the other better, to defer to the other when speaking–we are all to be examples of humility and servanthood.
We are the church, fellow saints, but foremost brothers—family—praying for and seeking fellow-laborers.